on Friday, February 27, 2015
    Once again, I apologize for my lack of blog posts. At least this time I have an excuse. I have been plotting. Cue the evil laugh. No, I'm kidding. It's been the good kind of plotting. Mostly. 
    So for this post I'm going to talk about different ways to plot, and how I plot. As I learned from LTUE, there's no one right way to do something. Some people don't even like to plot. They're called Pantsers because they fly by the seat of their pants. The way I plot may not be a good way for someone else to plot, hence the variety of ways to plot I will share in this post.
    The first thing you'll need is a plot idea. I know, shocking. If you don't have a plot idea, then you can't plot. I like to have a really well thought out idea, main characters, beginning, climax, and ending before I even think about following through on a plot. I like to know where I'm going, so I will do character sketches and a brief summary of the novel (like the blurb on the back of a book) before really digging into the details of the plot. 
    How do you get a plot? Get your character, and find out what they want. Them getting (or not getting) what they want is basically your plot. Not always, but it's a good way to start. Go Teen Writers has a whole big thing about figuring out about your character and the plot here. I found it very helpful if you're trying to figure out the basics of your plot.
    I think the next step can be easily summarized in a picture.

I'm Tired...

on Saturday, February 21, 2015
    I've had a crazy busy week and I haven't been sleeping well. Hence, the lack of blog posts.  Even now, I'm having a hard time writing anything for this post so instead I'll do pictures, quotes, and writer jokes.
    Who am I kidding?  They're all jokes.

LTUE Days 2 & 3

on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
    I used half a pen's worth of ink taking 35+ pages of notes at LTUE.  The majority of those notes were stuff people said that was really good advice I wanted to remember, but I also had quite a few moments of inspiration and I made about a thousand notes in the margins of my notebook of ideas to implement in all my stories.
    I've made notes about how I might fix Rose, which I am sure I want to fix and finish, but I still am not quite sure how. LTUE inspired at least 12 ideas, including (but not limited to) shortening it to a novella, switching it out of the modern day setting and into a fantasy setting so magic will be more prominent, and giving each princess character a mental illness (Rose already shows signs of anxiety) that they have to combat.
    I also made a lot more notes about Powerful that I still have to sort through. Scene ideas, magic ideas, and a lot of ideas about how each kingdom is different. 

LTUE Day 1

on Thursday, February 12, 2015
    The first day of LTUE was AMAZING!

    I (finally!) met Andrea Pearson, whose book I beta read back in August. I talked about it here, too.  She was on four panels today, and will be on two tomorrow and three on Saturday.  It was awesome to finally meet her after only having contact through email for so long.  She's releasing two books soon too.  One comes out on the 20th, and the other comes out in April.
    Some of the other panelists I saw today are Ali Cross, Bryce Moore, Stephen Gashler, Howard Taylor, David Powers King, James C. Duckett, Johnny Worthen, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Bryan Beus, Jason King, S. A. Butler, Peter Orullian, Rebekah R. Ganiere, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and M. K. Hutchins.


on Saturday, February 7, 2015
    270 days ago, I started this blog.  Since then, I have posted 99 times.  This is post 100.
    99 posts ago, I was someone who wanted to write a novel.  Now, I'm still someone who wants to write a novel, but I've actually put forth the effort and planned out a trilogy and an extra novel on the side.  I've written half of one novel, started writing a second, and written the character sketches and plot maps for all of them.
    My writing style has seriously changed in the past 270 days.  I joined an online writing group, Scribophile, and I've joined a real writing group here in town.  I've traded chapters with others and received A LOT of feedback.  From the things we talk about in my writing group, I've learned how to create better sentences, but more importantly, I've learned which details are actually important to the story, and which don't need to be included.  I've made a lot of writer friends too, people whose opinions I know I can trust.  
    I've also learned how to take feedback.  270 days ago, I felt like crying every time I got a negative comment on my writing.  I didn't know what to do because I took everything so personally, and I felt my self-esteem being torn down.  Then, I started to realize people had a point.  I had a really hard time seeing some problems in my own writing, and I needed others to point out those issues to me so they could be corrected.  Now, I look forward to feedback because I know how much it can help.
    I've done a post before comparing two versions of my old writing, from a few years ago to about a year ago.  I've also posted both versions of chapter 1 of Rose, and of Powerful.  It's ridiculous to see the change in how I write.
    And then I found this quote: